Breaking News

Birmingham families are paying to remove same Cladding as Grenfell

Bankruptcy

A first-time buyer who is also a mother is close to bankruptcy as a result of spiralling costs of the cladding on her home.

Jessica Jairath, 32, who works in purchasing, is “living on the breadline” with her 11-month old baby as any money she earns is going towards the costs of living at the Jupiter Apartments, Ryland Street.

Since the Grenfell disaster in 2017, her building has been shown to have a number of fire safety defects including aluminium composite material ( ACM ) cladding – the same type as used at Grenfell.

Due to Waking Watches – 24-hour patrols to check for fires – and insurance costs, leaseholders in her building are paying £4,000 to £6,000 every six months, she said.

She fears bankruptcy if she and neighbours in the building continue having to pay rising costs – including remediation works of more than £40,000 per flat which may not be covered by Government funds.

Ms Jairath said: “I was a first-time buyer of a flat I bought in the middle of 2017.

The property at the time was around 10 to 12 years old. It is a fifth floor flat with a balcony – beautiful view, beautiful flat.

She had saved up for ten years and did not have help from her family to buy the flat.

But after the Grenfell disaster, the building was found to be unsafe – including ACM cladding and inadequate cavity insulation.

She is now in a position where she is not able to the sell the flat as new buyers would not be granted a mortgage.

She said: “The flat is effectively worthless. Leaseholders are close to financial ruin. I had a baby last July.

I am basically living on the bread line with a newborn child. Any money I make goes towards the service charge and I’m reliant on my partner.

“There is a very real threat we could be made homeless the way this is going. Luckily we have family.

“I am close to going bankrupt through no fault of my own. It is something that will impact me for the rest of my life.”

Another first-time buyer is Patrick Illingworth, who bought a flat at Islington Gates in the Jewellery Quarter in 2017.

Patrick, 27, an operating department practitioner in the NHS, has now broken his ankle and is unable to keep up with service charges on statutory sick pay so is looking for new work.

Arconic

This comes only days after I was at the protests in Birmingham that shut down the factory responsible for the cladding in Grenfell.

Palestine Action

Two people have been arrested after protesters scaled an aluminium products factory in a demonstration lasting more than 30 hours.

Arrests

Police said damage totalling thousands of pounds had been done to the Arconic factory in Birmingham.

Protest group Palestine Action claims the firm’s products are used in the manufacture of Israeli military jets, but Arconic has not commented.

A man and woman were arrested by specialist officers at about 15:30 BST.

Statement

The West Midlands force said a sledgehammer and golf clubs were used to smash windows and skylights and paint was thrown across offices.

Arconic produces aluminium sheet for the aerospace and automotive industries, and also made the Grenfell Tower cladding.

A 26-year-old woman, from Burton-upon-Trent, and a man, who has not provided police with any personal details, were arrested on suspicion of criminal damage, aggravated trespass and a public order offence.

Break in

Protesters are thought to have gained access to the Kitts Green Road factory at 05:00 BST on Monday.

The force deployed a specialist police protest removal team, which is specially trained to work at heights, to detain them.

Earlier, police charged a 22-year-old woman from Bury, Greater Manchester, with aggravated trespass.

We only commemorated the anniversary of Grenfell a matter of days ago and to know Birmingham citizens are having to pay to have it removed is disgusting.

Justice for Grenfell

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